I needed to go to Bangalore for work. It was sort of a last minute thing. This trip report is also sort of last minute. I do not have time for a very detailled written report. I am leaving for part 3 of my RTW on December 13th and times are busy. It is a tough life but I will survive. It looks like my new responsibilities will include new business development offshore so that will include a lot of travel. Poor, poor me...
The outbound was on November 3rd.
Aircraft: 737-800 and A332
Seat: 3A and 7K (moved there to have 2 seats to myself)
Load on long haul: 50% in J, 90% in Y
I do not have too many pictures of these flights. They are on a camera for which I cannot find the USB cable. Silly me. I may post them later.
I had plenty of time in CDG so i was not too bothered that we departed from 2C in stead of 2E like I expected. It took me 45 minutes to do the transfer. Busses were few and far between and of course I got slightly lost...
Boarding started on time and of course: a bus. I hate that. I waited in a very crowded bus for 20 minutes before they finally were satisfied they could not press any more people into the bus. No priority for business class at all.
It took a while for all the passengers to board. Next... Nothing... After about 30 minutes we were told we were waiting for the paramedics. A lady had fallen and broken (or sprained) her wrist. It took the medics about 20 minutes to get there, 20 minutes to debate whether or not to take her off the plane and another 30 to effectively do so. We departed about 90 minutes too late and were informed we would not make up the extra time.
The flight itself was extremely boring. I watched a couple of movies on my Archos. The battery is broken so I need to use the power adapter in the seat. It did not work properly. I had to put the plug back in every time I moved the seat or for no reason at all. I thought that was a problem with my two seats or the adapter of the Archos, but I had exactly the same problem on the return flight with my laptop. How silly is that?
I will leave you with a couple of pictures.
Lounge seats 2C
View from seat
View from seat at night
INDIA: Being there
I was in India for work, but that did not stop me doing some exploring. I have a sort of hate/love relationship with the country but it sure is photogenic. I will let the pictures do the talking, as usual.
We were in Bangalore, as seen here by night
For you guys I will limit myself to the theme ‘transport’…
Trains are fascinating too
A very daring mode of transport in India…
Or try this one
Best one yet!
You can always rely on these guys
You can take a bus…
Also available at night (although not always with working lights!)
Best mode we saw all month: bring your own! Angela Merkel stayed at our hotel for a while. Strange to see a German license plate in India. Armored Audi A8L.
Better pray to the Gods!
Road kill (lord of the flies)
Ok, nothing to do with transport, but I like the picture. Very nice kids!
GOING BACK HOME
After about 2,5 weeks it was time to go home again.
Aircraft: A332 and 737-800
Seat: 5K and 5K
Load on long haul: 10% in J, 90% in Y
Let us start with some pictures of the new BLR airport and the lounge.
Nice touch: Air France porters waiting for Espace Affaires customers
View from escalator
Security check point. Very slow since a wrapped piece of gum makes the thing beep. Everybody needs to be searched.
Shopping area just past security check
The main departure area
Entry to the lounge
The lounge is divided into two sections: First and Everything Else. First is quieter and has nicer chairs. Unfortunately AF does not fly F to BLR so we were asked to go to the J section.
Main seating area, place for maybe 40 people.
‘Dining Area’ for lack of a better term. Food was scarce (dry sandwiches and hot fishcakes) and so where the drinks.
All in all the lounge did not impress. Too small, poorly decorated and marginal catering. Also when I asked if they would make an announcement they said of course, no worries! You win no prices if you guessed I wound up being the last person on the plane…
Lots of legroom. The same seats are used on the KL 773 but I am pretty sure they are much, much, MUCH closer together there…
Very light load as always on this route. I had the whole cabin (second part) to myself
This is why I always want the front row of the second J cabin on an A330. Extra storage or a place to put you legs. With a couple of pillows you can create a flat bed…
A mood shot of the cabin before take off
Taxiing to the runway
Just before turning on to the runway. I kinda like this shot.
A nice shot of the engine just after take off
In the air
A strange 'upgrade strategy' was observed by me on an this flight. As stated the load was extremely low (6 pax) and everyone was in the front cabin of the A330. I decided to move to the second cabin (completely empty) so I could have the 'seat with the ledge'. Shortly after take off one of the pax just moved his stuff from Y to C and sat in the last row of the second J cabin. He immediately pretended to sleep and the crew did talk to him. He started a very long and windy story and I guess the crew (probably tired since you leave at 02:15am) decided more or less to give up resistance and let him sit there. I looked at the FA in surprise and she just shrugged... He went back to Y (on his own accord) before landing.
I found it ridiculous.
Anyway. I slept for about 8 hrs and awoke quite refreshed. I did have breakfast this time. Nice omelet Florentine. I took pictures but I forgot to put my lens back on autofocus. You will have to take my word for it. To make up for it some nice 'out of the window'-shots:
Just after sun up
Just before touchdown
Just after touchdown. Nice spray of water. It had been raining and snowing.
Taxiing to the terminal. A remote stand of course.
Remote stands have only 1 advantage
The F lounges were ridiculously overcrowded. Never seen anything like it.
My seat on the B737-800. 3 seats all to myself. Other people in C had to sit 3 ducks in a row. Other passengers were lucky like me. Strange balancing…
The opposite row
Soon after the battery of my camera died. I was already dead. The flight to AMS was pretty uneventful. I did once again feel pride for the professionalism of the Dutch KLM crew. Fluent in Dutch but also in English and French. The food box was actually pretty nice.
It was a long journey and as always I am immediately a little homesick for India while at the same time I hate it there. Luckily I will go back in January.
The flights with AF are not really special. I prefer BA but I had their schedule to BLR. They arrive at 04:50 and leave at 06:30 something. So for me it will remain AF for now. It was also good to do this flight to retain Gold with KLM/AF.
Hope you enjoyed reading and most of all watching this report. Feedback always appreciated!
[Edited 2008-11-26 10:19:28]